Which HDMI Cable should you buy? A guide for the Noobies

hdmi cable guide for noobies
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High Definition Multimedia Interface is a propriety audio and video interface designed and in use for over 15 years now. It is a pretty common and one of the most popular forms of video and audio transmission over a wire. As of now, over 1,700 companies manufacturer HDMI adapters, and almost all of us use it for the good or bad.

Also Read: Things to consider while buying headphones

Over the years, this interface has grown, updated and improved over a few times. It all started with HDMI 1.0 and currently, we are at HDMI 2.1. With each new iteration, one can expect an increase in bandwidth and data channels with the ever increase in color format, space and depth support. So choosing the right HDMI cable could be a time-consuming task.HDMI cable

Sure you can buy the latest HDMI 2.1 and be done with it, but those cost a bit more than usual and an average user will probably never use all that available horsepower. So, here is a short table that should probably help an average joe with their buying decisions.

Video FormatHDMI Version / Maximum Data Rate (Gbit/s)
Rate (Hz)
Data Rate
1280 × 720
30720 Mbit/sYesYesYesYesYes
601.45 Gbit/sYesYesYesYesYes
1202.99 Gbit/sNoYesYesYesYes
1920 × 1080
301.58 Gbit/sYesYesYesYesYes
603.20 Gbit/sYesYesYesYesYes
1206.59 Gbit/sNoNoYesYesYes
1448.00 Gbit/sNoNoYesYesYes
24014.00 Gbit/sNoNo4:2:0YesYes
2560 × 1440
302.78 Gbit/sNoYesYesYesYes
605.63 Gbit/sNoNoYesYesYes
757.09 Gbit/sNoNoYesYesYes
12011.59 Gbit/sNoNo4:2:2YesYes
14414.08 Gbit/sNoNo4:2:0YesYes
24024.62 Gbit/sNoNoNo4:2:0Yes
3840 × 2160
306.18 Gbit/sNoNoYesYesYes
6012.54 Gbit/sNoNo4:2:0YesYes
7515.79 Gbit/sNoNo4:2:04:2:2Yes
12025.82 Gbit/sNoNoNo4:2:0Yes
14431.35 Gbit/sNoNoNoNoYes
24054.84 Gbit/sNoNoNoNoDSC
5120 × 2880
3010.94 Gbit/sNoNo4:2:2YesYes
6022.18 Gbit/sNoNoNo4:2:0Yes
12045.66 Gbit/sNoNoNoNoDSC
7680 × 4320
3024.48 Gbit/sNoNoNo4:2:0Yes
6049.65 Gbit/sNoNoNoNoDSC
120102.2 Gbit/sNoNoNoNoDSC

For context, the DSC refers to Display Stream Compression and the 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 refers to subsampling. You must have a really nice idea of which HDMI you should be buying. So, where can you buy it? Well, online shops will always have a handful of HDMI options, so just make sure to order the right one and start watching.

This is however just a short introduction to all the different aspects of HDMI, which we will cover in a later moment.